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Carter Conboy Obtains Dismissal of Fiduciary Malfeasance Claim

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Carter Conboy obtained summary judgment on behalf of our client, the unmarried companion of a decedent who named her as the primary beneficiary to his Individual Retirement Account (IRA), which was issued by the co-defendant brokerage firm. The plaintiff is the daughter of the decedent.

The claim stems from an IRA which was opened by the decedent in 2004 naming Carter Conboy’s client as the primary beneficiary to the IRA. Our client and the decedent were unmarried companions for nearly 30 years prior to his death in 2012. After his passing, the plaintiff was named voluntary administratrix of the decedent’s estate by the Saratoga County Surrogates Court. The plaintiff then moved the court for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction preventing the co-defendant brokerage firm from distributing the IRA funds to our client.  In this claim, the plaintiff alleges that the defendants wrongfully procured and/or forged the primary beneficiary designation over to our client and, therefore the named beneficiary is invalid and improperly executed, making the decedent’s estate the rightful beneficiary of the IRA.

Carter Conboy moved the Court for summary judgment, requesting that the plaintiff’s Complaint be dismissed in its entirety based on the validity and authentication of the beneficiary form which was acknowledged before and confirmed by a notary, who submitted an Affidavit supporting such argument. The Court agreed with our argument, stating that, in New York, a written document acknowledged by a notary is prima facie evidence that it was executed by the person who purported to do so and that Carter Conboy satisfied the burden of proving the decedent’s signature as authentic. The Court dismissed the plaintiff’s Complaint in its entirety and further ordered that any injunction or restriction placed on the IRA be vacated and the funds distributed to our client.

Carter Conboy is a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ peer rated full-service law firm committed to providing the highest quality legal representation to its clients. Founded in 1920, Carter Conboy has offices in Albany and Saratoga Springs, New York, serving clients throughout New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire. For additional information about the firm, visit www.carterconboy.com or contact the firm’s Director of Marketing, Stacy A. Smith, at 518-810-0516 or ssmith@carterconboy.com.